I always knew that I loved taking portraits; however, the thought of working as a wedding or a family photographer never interested me. It was only after befriending a few small business owners and taking their professional photos that I realized personal brand photography was for me.
I love being around entrepreneurs and business owners because they are always sharing their creativity and inspiration. Most people can talk your ears off about their biggest passions, and when I photograph entrepreneurs, I find that I almost get a free masterclass by the time our photoshoot is over. I also love getting to see “behind the scenes” of working in various careers outside my own, and I am able to do that through personal brand photography.
A personal brand is just a brand that is based on the creator of the business. In addition to selling their services or products, these business owners are kind of selling their image. Think of authors, life coaches, fitness coaches, website and branding designers, social media strategists, business consultants, private chefs, even real estate agents or therapists who own their practice.
Personal brand photography is the the creation of images that will be used to support these type of entrepreneurs and small business owners — from photos for their websites to content for online courses, or even a book cover. If you are an entrepreneur, the whole point of brand photography is to help explain what you do and what your “vibe” is quickly through visuals. You want your audience (which are your prospective clients) to remember you. If you have images that resonate with them that is much more likely to happen.
When you use high quality professional photos that are crisp and clear, lit well, and creative, your brand looks more legitimate. Professional photos instantly make it look like you have been around for a while and have put a lot of thought and effort in to what you do. People are more likely to take a chance and spend money on a business that has a professional, consistent visual appearance.
Imagine that you are looking for someone to design your website. You are likely going to look at a least a few designers and pay attention to what their website and social media looks like. A huge part of both website and social media accounts is photography. A beautifully designed website with unsightly photos pretty much becomes an unappealing website.
Another example could be looking for the right therapist. A therapist is someone you really have to trust and feel comfortable with. If one therapist comes across as especially warm and open in their photos, you may gravitate towards them.
Some of these decisions made after viewing photos are even subconscious! You may not even realize that you are buying from one brand over another simply because you like the way they look.
Before any personal brand photoshoot, I like to have a video call with clients where we brainstorm ideas for the photoshoot and I get to know them a little bit. I find that talking to your photography client once or twice before the photo shoot helps the shoot day go smoother and feel less awkward.
In addition to asking them about their story and their business, I ask them about their hobbies, passions and interests. Often, interesting things will come up during these answers that we can incorporate into their photo shoot. I had one client (a social media manager and strategist) who told me that she didn’t have many hobbies other than going to the pool… so for part of the shoot, we brought her laptop to the pool and created a luxurious “work from where ever you want” atmosphere, which was really on-brand for her.
I had another client (a therapist) who is passionate about roller skating. She had never thought about getting photos of her skating but immediately liked the idea. Anyone who is looking for a therapist and is also a roller skater would probably feel immediately drawn to her.
When it comes to social media, your audience is more interested in you as a person than your business and how it functions. If you can find that balance between photos that look professionally done but are also exciting and informative, I think you are hitting the sweet spot when it comes to effective personal brand photography. You want your photos to be interesting enough to make your audience stop for a minute, think about you, and then check out your website or social media to learn more.
You can learn more about Lauren Giuliani Photography by visiting laurengiuliani.com or following Lauren’s G. on Instagram at _laurengiuliani. She looks forward to photographing you and your greatest inspirations!